The Rural Development Society was established under the patronage of renowned social worker Late Rt. Rev. Santosh Kumar Kisku, Bishop of the Diocese of Durgapur, Church of North India in Bankura district of West Bengal state under the Chhotonagpur plateau in 1977 as a social service organization dedicated to the development of poor and weaker section of the people. The main objective of the society is to launch integrated development programmes in the Chhotonagpur region for empowerment and mainstreaming of the rural socio-culturally oppressed and economically exploited masses through people's participatory approach.

The RDS is registered under the West Bengal Societies Registration Act XXVI of 1961 and it is also registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 1976 of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India.

In the beginning the society started its activities in remote backward areas of Bankura district of West Bengal state. Gradually it has extended its areas of operation in the states of Jharkhand and Orissa. At present about 50000 rural and poor people are involved in the development initiative of the society.